Sam the Ficus Lover
by Jerry Meislik
I am very fortunate in that I get to meet with lots of people each year that love Ficus but my most unusual fig lover has to be Sam.
I had the pleasure of meeting Sam, a Galapagos Tortoise, who is owned by my friend Julian Duval. Julian is the President/CEO of the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas California. Julian and I are good friends and I try to get out to visit the fantastic Botanical Garden as often as possible. Plan on a visit to the Botanical Gardens when you can to view the lovely gardens. It is super friendly for children with many areas and exhibits for them to enjoy.
Julian is also a plant and fig lover and has a large personal collection of Ficus. He has been invaluable to me as a consultant on fig and other plant matters.
On this last trip out there Julian introduced me to Sam. Julian bought Sam about 50 years ago as a small, baby tortoise and reared him for years before needing to get Sam another home. Julian lost track of Sam and the new owner. Through a fortunate stroke of luck Julian found Sam and was able to bring him back to California.
As you can see Sam is quite loveable and follows everyone around his large yard. He is a vegtarian and also loves Ficus trees. You can see him eating branches of Ficus craterostoma. He can literally eat a good sized branch in just a few large gulps.
As always I greatly enjoyed spending time fellow fig lovers, Julian and Sam.